Aligning Social Media To Business Strategy
There is no doubt that social media can help your organization increase both its visibility and profitability. Social media however, like any other business process, practice, tool, or technology has to be linked to an organization's overarching business strategy. This strategy is simply, the means by which the organization sets about to achieve its long term goals or objectives. Following a well formulated, carefully considered, crafted, and distinctive business strategy will help to ensure that an organization builds, maintains, and continually strengthens a specific identity in its respective operating environment or market.
Having an effective social media strategy however, relates to the development and implementation of strategic plans for the use of social media for a given organization or entity. It seeks essentially to find and promote novel ways of communication where media is not only broadcasted, but shared, commented upon, or remixed by the wider public.
When carefully considered and aligned to business strategy, social media can help to increase the organization's number of customers, their level of engagement with your brand, products, and services, create conversations about your efforts, gather valuable insights which can help inform and spawn new improvements or directions, strengthen brand recognition and image, and aid in the delivery of more effective customer service. You can read about four excellent examples of excellent Twitter customer service here.
It is often tempting to use what may be considered the popular social media platform today, but careful thought has to be given to not only which, but can social media in fact aid in the support and achievement of your company's goals and objectives. If the answer is yes, armed with an understanding of your business strategy, what social media platforms do exist, and how do they work and people engage on them, one can go about selecting the platform which is right for the organization.
From there focus on establishing and defining your social media goals and by what metrics you plan to measure your performance and success. Consider too, how it will function and be managed within your organization, what will be communicated when and how, and who does the organization expect to be engaging with its content. Conversely, don't be pressured into engaging in social media if you don't think it is the right fit for your company's aims, goals, values, principles, and customers.
Undoubtedly, there is tons of great content out there which provide excellent tips and advice, if you wish to engage in social media. Feel free to start with a couple interesting articles, Why Most Social Media Strategies Fail, and How to Setup a Social Media Business Strategy.